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What's at stake in this election
Without more housing, Vancouver will become more and more expensive.
Someone on Reddit commented:
So what will Vancouver look like in 20 years if all the people that society needs to make it function can't afford to live here?
That’s exactly it. I think of the underlying problem as a mismatch between housing and jobs: we have a lot of jobs in Vancouver and not enough housing, and so expensive housing acts as a kind of filter. People with high incomes (e.g. in tech) can afford to move here, people with regular jobs (e.g. nurses) can't. People who bought 20 years ago aren't affected, so what happens is that we get an aging population and a health-care system that's under more and more stress. B.C.’s aging population a ‘wake-up call’ for health-care system, advocates say.
CMHC recently estimated that for BC, getting back to 2003-2004 levels of housing affordability by 2030 would require building homes at somewhat more than 2X the business-as-usual rate.
With Covid, we suddenly had more people working from home, so we suddenly had more demand for residential space (and less demand for office space).
To fix this, we need a massive buildout of residential space over the next 10 years.
The problem is, even though we desperately need housing, a lot of people are afraid of new housing. I totally get it - it’s natural to fear the unknown. But we have a choice between two kinds of change. Either we keep the buildings the same, in which case housing will become more and more expensive, and more and more people will be forced to leave. Or we can allow the buildings to change, so that more people can stay in Vancouver.
M. Nolan Gray described the basic choice:
Gray was talking about older folks in extremely expensive neighborhoods that were once middle class, and how these older residents will wonder why, for example, their children are leaving, and they feel lonely and isolated in their retirement years. “Their community has been destroyed by not allowing the built environment to change,” he said.
In this election, the three leading mayoral candidates are Kennedy Stewart (Forward Together), Ken Sim (ABC), and Colleen Hardwick (TEAM).
I'm supporting Kennedy Stewart, and running for council with his party, because he's consistently voted for more housing, especially rental housing (which provides secure housing without requiring a giant down payment, unlike condos). In 2018, Ken Sim had a weak housing plan (basically allow two basement suites instead of one), and the record of the three ABC councillors is mixed. Colleen Hardwick is leading those who fear and oppose new housing. Voting record.
A couple video clips of Kennedy Stewart and Colleen Hardwick in action: